Priscilla Chan: The New “Trophy Wife”

Posted May 21, 2012 by Marcy Twete in Leaders We Adore

Can you imagine the water-cooler conversation these two might be having at work this morning? “Hey, Mark, how was your week last week?” “Well, Bob, my wife graduated from medical school, I made $21 billion in the IPO, and oh yeah, almost forgot, we got married, too. No biggie.” Talk about piling up on the celebrations.

But today, I don’t want to talk about Mark Zuckerberg and his billions of dollars or even their nuptials (although, I will say, they stole the whole surprise wedding idea from my husband and I, didn’t they?) Today, I want to talk about Priscilla Chan (word on the street is that there will be no name change), the woman I’ll call the new “trophy wife.” Forbes writer Clare O’Connor is calling her “The New Breed of Billionaire Bride.” She is smart, accomplished in her own right, and dedicated to continuing her career full time despite a billion dollar payday she and her new husband are experiencing. She has studied to be a pediatrician, and graduated last week as a member of the exclusive National Medical Honor Society. And with the help of her new husband, she’s already had an incredible impact on the medical community as the push behind the organ donation announcement from Facebook earlier this month (see the video below for more information on Priscilla’s pet project at Facebook – I registered, have you?)

Forbes writer Clare O’Connor also points out that this new breed of bride for Silicon Valley heavyweights might not be so new at all. From Lauren Powell Jobs to Anne Wojcicki to Melinda Gates, none of these tech start-up wives are content to rest on their laurels and become the traditional trophy wives. But I contend these women are, in fact, the new face of the trophy wife. No longer should men be proud of their wife’s long hair, great body, and excellent pot roast recipe. Instead, I hope we’ll see these powerful men modeling for men around the world that their wives are trophies because of their experience, their intellect, and their ambition.

Thanks, Priscilla, for joining the ranks of these powerful women making a difference not because of their husband’s success, but because of your own personal drive and ambition. I speak for all of Career Girl Network’s readers when I say we are excited to watch you fly!

About the Author

Marcy Twete

Marcy Twete is a career fundraiser turned corporate responsibility executive, a career and networking expert and the author of the book "You Know Everybody! A Career Girl’s Guide to Building a Network That Works."